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North Forsyth has hired a football coach. See who the Vikings selected.

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Jay Blair (left) coached at Reynolds for the past four seasons before being named the new head football coach at North Forsyth.

North Forsyth announced that it has hired Jay Blair to be its next head football coach.

Blair, 38, has been an assistant coach the past four seasons at Reynolds, and he will replace Pete Gilchrist, who resigned earlier this month after coaching the Vikings for 12 years.

Blair, graduated from Reynolds in 1998 and played in college at East Carolina until 2002. He later had stints in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, and also played for the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe. He was recently inducted into the Reynolds Hall of Fame on Friday night.

“At the local level, at the high school level, some of the things that Coach (Pat Crowley of Reynolds) is still doing over at R.J. Reynolds High School,” Blair said, “those things have broadened my horizons and made me prepared for this situation.”

Blair wants to bring the respect back to North Forsyth football after so many players in the area have opted to play at other schools. In addition, the Vikings will leave the Piedmont Triad 3-A after this school year and enter the Western Piedmont Athletic 2-A.

“We have to ‘Reclaim the North,’” he said.

The Vikings finished a combined 1-21 the last two seasons.

“He just comes with all this pedigree that we want at North Forsyth High School. He’s a first-class guy,” Athletics Director Sean Vestal of North Forsyth said. “He’s done a great job of helping build the Reynolds program to where it right now.”

Vestal went even further with the choice.

“He’s just a home run for us,” he said. “When the resume came and people start calling, it was just, man, it just got better the more that you talked to people about him.”

Blair is a business and marketing teacher, and although he doesn’t have a position yet at North Forsyth, Vestal assured him he will be a teacher at the school for the 2019-20 school year.

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jspivey@wsjournal.com 336-727-7370 @JaySpivey_WSJ

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